MORGANTOWN - The Caperton Indoor Facility looked a little darker than usual Tuesday as West Virginia's football team went through its drills.
Perhaps it's simply because half the bulbs in the place need replacing.
Or maybe it had something to do with the pall cast over the facility by the news of the NCAA's investigation of the Mountaineer progam.
Yes, by all indications, the examination has to do with former West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez, now at Michigan. The NCAA handed the Wolverine program a Notice of Allegations in February, accusing the school of five potentially major rules violations.
Which, naturally, would lead to Touchdown City, something we've now learned happened within the last 45 days - to no one's surprise. If the NCAA is convinced Rodriguez spurned rules in Ann Arbor, why would one think he followed them in Morgantown?
Of course, WVU officials identified this as a concern back in September of 2009, when the UM-Rodriguez story first broke. Our Dave Hickman caught up with athletic director Ed Pastilong, who indicated then his big house was in order. He suggested he and then-compliance man Brad Cox almost babysat Rodriguez's practices, almost obsessed over record-keeping.
So when the news broke, they double-checked their records and smiled.
"We looked into it,'' Patrick Hairston, WVU's assistant for compliance, said. "We're very comfortable no NCAA rules were broken."
I can't help but wonder how comfortable that position is today. There certainly seemed to be a lot of squirming in the practice facility on Tuesday.
The reason is the unknown. As I wrote back in September, WVU should have tackled this as Chris Neild would a quarterback. Michigan hired outside help in its investigation.
Mountaineer officials wouldn't speak on Tuesday about the ongoing investigation. School president Jim Clements did not return a call. Football sports information director Mike Montoro said there would be no comments. The NCAA would not comment.
The hope for WVU and its faithful is Mountaineer officials did take the extra steps after indicating they were satisfied and saw no reason for them. That they did launch a more thorough investigation.
For this concerns not only the athletic department's cash cow, but a beacon for the university and its state. To do anything but thoroughly vet the issue, especially in light of charges at Michigan, would be insane.
As many will point out, once the NCAA hits town, it's hard to tell what the organization will uncover. One story has it the NCAA rented a trailer and investigated Mississippi State for a month and a half before anyone on campus became wise.
But it's a school's duty to at least tackle what's directly in front of it. Hard.
In time, we'll find out if there was anything to tackle.
We'll find out, if there was, if WVU officials indeed hit it head-on.
Or we'll find out if the effort was simply an arm tackle.
It certainly was a busy day around the state.
While on the way here, I received a call the University of Charleston hastily put together somewhat of a press conference to announce the hiring of Mark Downey as its next basketball coach.
However it was handled, though, the bottom line is Ed Welch and company hit from the top of the key with this hire.